Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson
Artist: Paolo Rivera, Joe Rivera, Dave Stewart
Release Date: 23rd March 2016
Despite being rather thoroughly dead (spoilers?) for nearly 5 years now, Hellboy is proving to be as compelling as he ever was. As Mignola promised us all the way back when, in the Hellboy universe, death only makes you more interesting, and he’s delivered on that promise in spades, even if we’re now flashing back to Red being… y’know… alive and everything.
Following on from the cliffhanging stand-off at the end of issue #1, this latest chapter is relatively action-packed, clipping along at an exceptional pace as the crazy wolf-horse demon leaves a trail of destruction through a quiet country town.
The period detail in the Riveras’ art is really rather good – from the authentic weaponry being wielded by our hero and his cohorts to the little flourishes on the outfits of random townsfolk, it’s all very immersive, and if you’re a history buff, you’ll likely get a kick out of picking it apart.
In terms of a latching point, this is not precisely the issue that – if you’re a Hellboy n00b – you should be grabbing on to. It’s a compelling ‘to reach’ goal, but if you’re looking for an issue that will finally get you on board, you’ll be in over your head with this one. The ‘53 series as a whole would be alright, I guess, but honestly, you should really be heading all the way back to Hellboy #1, expensive though it may be.
Ultimately, in case there was any doubt, Mignola and Co. have not lost it when it comes to Hellboy. Not even close. The Riveras are a smart choice for the line and inkwork, and the story here is interesting enough to keep you engaging. It lacks the epic, sweeping storytelling beats of the main, present-set series, but that’s almost to be expected. Regardless, these mini-series are becoming a reliably solid read – definitely worth a look if you’re already hooked.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24